Hello Music Makers, Mike here! =)
– I love the sound of accordions, they have such an amazing ability to add that organ-like, airy atmosphere to any style of music.
And since I do a lot of fantasy style music and tavern style folk music, accordions are great for that sound in particular.
However, there is a catch. Real accordions are big, bulky, heavy, cumbersome to record…and a good one can be expensive too.
What about accordion VST plugins and sample libraries? It’s a tricky instrument to sample, but in the past years some developers have made a huge leap in sound quality, expression, dynamics etc. and one of them is Accordions 2 by Eduardo Tarilonte and Bestservice (Kontakt sample library).
What you get in Accordions 2
In Accordions 2 you do not only get one accordion, but several types in one collection:
- Accordion (main): 11 registers including left-hand bass notes
- Bandeneon: Suitable for tango in particular
- Bass Accordion: If you want more low range
- Concert Accordion: With incredible 15 registers (including basses)
- Concertina: Perfect for pirate/sailor songs and tavern music
- Folk Accordion: More folk style sound
- French Musette Accordion: The sound of France and Paris
- Steirisches Accordion: German/Alpine folk music sound
- Wooden Melodica: Not really an accordion, but similar in sound
My Favorite things about Accordions 2
1. Lots of Tonal Variation
Not only do you get a lot of accordions to choose from, but you can also mix the various registers (sounds).
2. Great Expression with Dynamics
You get 3 layers of dynamics that you can go between with the MOD-wheel, and the cross-fading is very smooth between the dynamic layers.
3. Authentic Sound
Great quality recordings where they recorded all chromatic notes with a high end microphone, but also the key and button noises which really adds a lot of that human and authentic aspect. You can also control the key press and release sounds in the GUI.
4. Easy to go from Low to High
You can of course start with the proper accordion preset for the style and range your current track needs, but many of them also includes a register knob that makes it easier to switch tonal focus, and this can also be automated in your DAW.
5. Extra Decorations
They even went as far as include some extra decorations to add some more authentic details to your performances, like bellow shakes, open/close bellow etc.
6. Easy to Play
No latency issues, and no messing around with key switching and other annoying things. Simply play on your MIDI keyboard while using the MOD-wheel or other expression controller do shape the dynamics.
7. Light on Resources
I did not do any actual testing, but RAM usage is fairly low for a sample library, and it barely made a dent on my CPU meter when playing (although I do have a high end Mac Studio computer).
The Sound of Accordions 2
You get that instant folk flare to your music when using Accordions 2, and it’s so easy to change the overall sound and tone by switching Accordion presets or registers. If you make any style of music where you want to add that nostalgic folk sound of an accordion, you should definitely take a closer look at Accordions 2.
This is me playing completely live without any metronome or backing track, just to give you a quick overview of the type of sound you can get out of this sample library: